Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Ready For Change

Brenden has always been a scheduled baby. When he was little he would eat, play for about 30 minutes, then take a nap. This repeated roughly 6 times a day until he had his bath at night, drank his last bottle, and went to sleep. As he got older the naps went down to 3, one at 9 am, one at noon-ish, and one at 3 pm. I was ready for that change, especially since it made it easier to go out during the day. And then we dropped to 2 naps a day, morning and night, which was also just fine. If he missed his 2nd nap he would be grouchy and might have a hard time going to sleep, but he would make it. Then last week, I put him down for his nap at the same time as usual, expecting him to be out for about an hour or more, just to find him back up 20 minutes later. I thought that meant the afternoon nap would be longer, or maybe he was combining them. No joy. He didn't fall asleep at all the 2nd time around. This went on for a few days and frazzled my confidence. I thought I knew what he needed! Was this a temporary switch? Would he be gripey like this every night now?

I don't think I would have been as freaked out about the napping if it hadn't coincided with his appetite changes, which all but disappeared. He would some broccoli or bread, maybe a few bites of grilled cheese or mac and cheese, but nothing like he normally does. He's always had a hollow leg when it comes to food. Always eaten anything we gave him, from onions to olives to salsa. (He loved them all!) Now we're handing him just about anything just to get something in him. Pickles for dinner? Sure! A spoon of peanut butter and a few bites of roll? That works! Most of it ends up on the floor, or else it's eaten by the dogs. Feeding the dogs has become much more interesting than eating the food himself. He still asks to eat, but a few bites is all he wants and the rest is thrown over the edge.

I had a friend that told me that her son switched up his eating and sleeping habits when he was going through a developmental phase, like a growth spurt or learning a new skill. Brenden has done that, but it usually went the other way, like sleeping and eating MORE. He's definitely grown about an inch or more. His 18 month pants are way too small. But usually by the time I realize he's grown he's back to normal. I have noticed that he has been picking up more words, recognizing more things, but I'm not sure it has anything to do with the other changes. How could learning that a sheep says "baaaa" make him sleep less? How can being able to point at his eye and say "eye" make his appetite wane?

Yesterday was the first time he napped for a normal amount of time. He even grabbed a bib and asked to go "nigh-nigh". His interest in food hasn't changed, though. I guess as long as he's drinking fluids and eating something, even if it is only half a banana and the peanut butter out of the middle of the crackers, then he's OK. Is there anything else I should worry about? Oh yeah, potty training, school, girls, driving, college...the list is endless.


Heather said...

Have you tried cutting him down from two naps a day to one? He may not be sleeping as well during both naps because he doesn't need them both anymore. Brenna was 19 months when she stopped taking that first morning nap, but Anthony... he stopped napping in the mornings when he was 15 months old. Now he wakes up around 7 or 7:30am, stays up until 12:30 or 1pm, takes anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hour naps, depending on whether we have to pick Brenna up from school, and is awake until we put him to bed at 8pm. You may want to try that with Brenden.

And the food? It was bound to happen. Maybe his body is finally realizing it doesn't need as much fuel to get him through the day. Generally the appetite slows down around his age, and formerly good eaters become pickier, or seem to lose their appetite. Don't worry, he'll still surprise you now and then. Yesterday he ate everything but the kitchen sink. But then there are other days when he eats practically nothing.

If it's coinciding with a milestone, it could be learning to do something physically, rather than emotionally. Keep your eye out for jumping, or standing on one leg, or something along those lines!

New Girl on Post said...

Wow....the world of children. Kudos to you for not going crazy! I'd be freaking out about every little thing, but you seem cool as a cucumber. Brenden is still the cutest little kid ever! I love hearing your stories about him.

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